Cara Delevingne fights aliens and Rihanna has a cabaret debut in the making of Valerian

A behind the scenes video has been released detailing Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets‘ creation, with exclusive comments from director Luc Besson.

Besson details with fond memory his first experience of the graphic novel in the three and a half minute clip, remarking that Valerian was the film he always dreamed of making: ‘I’ve waited my entire life to make this film, and the journey has been amazing.’ You can take a glimpse of this journey below in a special behind the scenes montage of Besson’s mindset in the run up to the film’s release.

It looks like we have James Cameron to thank once more for a movie set to be bigger than space itself. With huge alien landscapes and intricate character design lightyears ahead of previous cinematic techniques, it wasn’t until Avatar was brought to life that Besson held out hope for creating the space blockbuster – and if the trailers are anything to go by, it’s set to be out of this world.

Besson states himself, ‘there are no limits any more’, which seems to run through each breath-taking clip that emerges from the film. Looking almost like a video game in its vastness and attention to detail, Valerian looks to channel Mass Effect vibes in its space suits and sheer strangeness of the alien races on display. But in this story, it isn’t Shepard, but Valerian (Dane DeHaan) that is firmly in control – or so he would have us believe. Laureline (Cara Delevingne) seems to give him a run for his money as the hero, with plenty of sass on offer throughout both the exclusive video and the trailers released so far. Besson even claims the character as ‘his first love’, which seems unsurprising from the bad-ass attitude Laureline wholly embodies.

The chemistry between the trio on and off set is wonderful, and you can see the child-like excitement in Besson’s eyes as the film he always wanted to make is finally coming to fruition. Rihanna even makes a brief but impressive appearance as a glitzy transforming performer, changing like magic between outfits on stage.

It is this sort of effect that gets one wondering exactly how much time went into altering the shots to reach their completely beguiling alien quality: and the answer is a lot. For reference, Besson states: ‘In The Fifth Element, there is 188 special effect shots, but in Valerian – there is 2734′ – a mind blowing increase in the 20 year gap between the two films.

The film looks incredible in every way, with amazing effects, a stellar cast, and a level of design rarely seen in such detail. Another few painful months come before the release, so in the meantime, whilst we wait and watch this video over and over, Luc Besson says it best:

‘Have fun… and see you in space.’

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is distributed by Lionsgate and will be in cinemas 2nd August 2017.

This article was originally posted to The National Student.

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